A Call To Pray….
March 8, 2019 | Kenton and Sonya Becker
Dear praying Friends,
I am going to take advantage of a small break in our calendar to get an update off to you. We had a church meeting yesterday to prepare for our annual business meeting next Sunday. There was such a good spirit, we were just amazed and thankful. The group is so supportive of our different ministry pursuits. Our goal of discipling believers so that they would be able to teach others is finally beginning to bear fruit.
This fruit has come at a great cost. I have worked very hard at putting together a set of bylaws for our church members. The changing religious climate continues to produce ominous clouds and I just believed it was time to put down in writing the basics of what this ministry represents. Three members have indicated that they will be leaving the church. A fourth has gone home to be with the Lord. Our reaction is mixed. We regret that these people never came to a point where they put their lives in order with God’s Word. However, these people were also weights in the ministry and more than once, we discovered they were undercutting our efforts to “make friends and take them to heaven.” Please commit these three former members to the Lord. Please pray for our annual church meeting this Sunday.
To catch you up a bit with our lives, we spent a very blessed Christmas and New Year’s holiday with our girls here in France. Living in an empty nest has taken some getting used to. We are thankful for technologies that make it easier to stay in touch with our children. Our hearts were very torn last fall as we felt God’s call to continue on here in France, but we miss our families too. There is no greater joy than to know that your children walk with the Lord; this is a great blessing which we do not take for granted. Our children, even as young adults, continue to carry a bright testimony to this country. Thank you so much for your part in their lives.
In January, Sonya used her frequent flyer miles to get a plane ticket to surprise her parents on their 80th Birthdays in Grand Junction. Her parents are doing well and we were thankful Sonya could spend some time with them and her siblings. Sonya was able to go to several supporting churches and see some supporters in the Grand Junction area while she was there.
As we think through our ministry initiatives and priorities, we are always seeking ways to “Make friends and take them to heaven”. We spend a lot of time developing relationships with people. Part of that has been leading trips to America providing teenagers an opportunity to experience basketball or be exposed to American culture, something they are asking for. We are thankful that often we have been able to mix these trips with seeing supporting churches and family.
In February, I took a scouting trip with 3 basketball players, to the Sioux Falls area to have tryouts with local universities there. When I make a trip like this, my way is paid by the players so I try to use the trip to also touch base with supporters and share in churches. God went before us and got us into a couple of places we were not expecting to go. Despite the snow storms, I was able to share in a couple of supporting churches.
The experiences the last few months have impressed us with how much families here want to provide multi-cultural opportunities for their children. Every year there are more people asking to go on these kinds of trips. One thing we have concluded is that Sonya and I are far more efficient when we are together in ministry, so in the future we will be doing these “discovery” trips together.
Not only do these trips offer a unique opportunity to be in close contact with people but we can also renew contact with our supporters. In recent years, several times, our trips have been funded by our French friends who have shown their appreciation for our ministry with a special contribution to our ticket. We are very grateful for this provision from the Lord.
Travel is expensive of course, but thanks to these special provisions, we have been able to keep costs down the last few years. Amazingly we have not had to raise our support schedule for the last 10 years. This is a praise because even though we have had major repairs on our house, major car repairs, sent kids to college, etc, all while dealing with a 3.5% annual inflation rate of the last 10 years (lowing our purchase power by 35%!).
Last year, there were two churches who indicated that they could no longer financially support us. Again, the Lord provided as we ended the year in the black. However, we have decided to come back to the States in August and visit churches in an effort to raise additional support. Please commit these plans to prayer.
If you have read this letter up to this point, Thank you! I just realized that I did not send out a prayer letter in January. The matter of the church bylaws was so important, that there were several things that did not get done.
Thank you for standing with us in prayer.
We are very, very thankful for you.
May God bless you,